If you’ve been following this blog series, you likely have a decent understanding of how tedious it can be to work one’s way up the BJJ ranking system. The hours of training, maintaining health, and mental capacity it all takes can be overwhelming for many. If you’ve ever had the chance to meet a black belt, they will probably tell you receiving said belt was one of the greatest accomplishments of their life. Through dedication and persistence many achieve the goal of obtaining a black belt.
One of the most exciting aspects of becoming a black belt is your ability to transform your techniques. Not only are you learning more about which positions are your strengths but you learn to easily adapt at the spur of the moment. At this point, you have a deep intuition about your skills and abilities so that during sparring, a tactical outline of moves isn’t always required. Having the instinct to “feel” your way through a match is one of the most exciting aspects of achieving this level of skill in the art of BJJ.
At the black belt level, most practitioners have dipped their toes in instruction. The experience that we gain as teachers of BJJ can often give us a completely new perspective of the sport. Black belts have had all of the basic moves drilled into their head and have demonstrated them countless times. Once you see something over and over, you begin finding new ways to do them and often for the better. Incorporating tactics from other fields of study often occur at this stage in your training as well.
As mentioned in a previous blog of mine, Jiu Jitsu ultimately changes everything about a person. From the way you manage your health and wellness to seeing the world through different eyes, BJJ creates a well-rounded individual. BJJ is often referred to as a total journey of the mind, body, and spirit. We think in a way that is different than we did before our training. This is often due to the fact that we possess a whole new set of skills and capabilities that could save our lives one day. Everyday we read about scenarios where people are victims of random attacks. The thought process that our brains have from BJJ helps us determine the best possible outcomes in high-risk or attack scenarios.
Those who continue on their journey after a black belt are often influencers and famous within the sport. For most, black belt is the highest goal and once it is obtained, personalized development as a practitioner is the main focus. There are various degrees of black belt expertise and it often takes many years to accomplish such high rankings. As it is for many martial arts, gaining a new belt can change someone’s life for the better. There is no end to learning and growing in BJJ. Everyone will play the role of student more than once during their career in BJJ. Staying focused and determined are the two key ingredients to achieving the goals that you set for yourself.